20 December 2012

Uganda: Nebanda Family Prefers Scotland Yard for Investigations

The family of the fallen Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda has asked the Government to hire international detectives for investigations to establish what caused her death.

"We call upon the Government to engage the services of independent and internationally recognized investigators like Scotland Yard as it is normally the way forward in such high profile crimes," the family said in a statement signed by Fred Mukasa on Wednesday.

The call came after the Government sent Nebanda body samples to United Kingdom for further forensic investigation.

According to sources, the samples were flown to "one of the top" UK analytical laboratories accompanied by a team of experts from Government analytical Laboratory and a family member, Ronald Wandera as a witness.

Parliament on Tuesday stopped the burial of Nebanda's body earlier scheduled for today, following a disagreement over the handling of the forensic investigations.

Instead, the deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah ordered that the body be kept at Mulago hospital at the Parliament's expense. But the family instead took the body home in Kitubulu were it was on Wednesday.

"Results of the cause of the MPs' death will be out at least within a week," a source that talked to New Vision revealed.

The family however immediately disassociated itself from the investigations saying Wandera travelled without their knowledge or approval.

"As the bereaved family, we have not authorized anyone to go to London with the Police medical team and we are not in position to assign anyone to join the Police medical team intending to carry out further toxicological analysis or related matters," a family statement sign by Fred Mukasa said.

When the New Vision telephoned Wandera yesterday, he said he was in Nairobi. "I am in Nairobi doing a few things but I will get back to you," he said and declined to give more details.

The family denied that Wandera, a cousin to the deceased legislator, was their spokesperson. But during a requiem mass held at the family's home in Kitubulu, Entebbe on Monday, Wandera had introduced himself as the family spokesperson.

"For anything to do with the family and the death of Nebanda, I am the person to talk to." Wandera said.

The family said yesterday it was wrong for the Police to regard Wandera as the family spokesperson.

Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba last evening insisted that they regarded Wandera as the family spokesperson whom they have been working closely with since the death of Nebanda. She said that Wandera also represented the family when pathologists were carrying out postmortem at Mulago hospital.

The deceased's mother, Alice Namulwa Mukasa, said she first became concerned about Wandera's actions when she saw him in hobnobbing with police officers while they were at Parliament on Tuesday.

The family, however, expressed appreciation to President Museveni and the Inspector General of Police Lt. General Kale Kayihura for their support. "We also still believe and trust that they are still committed to our cause and we hope that they will handle it to our satisfaction, Parliament and the entire nation," the family said.

Nebanda, who had distinguished herself as a vocal legislator, died on Friday last week under unclear circumstances. She was reportedly rushed in critical condition by a group of people that included her boyfriend, Adam Suleiman Kalungi to the Mukwaya General Clinic, Nsambya, where she was pronounced dead.

The boyfriend, Adam Suleiman Kalungi, and his associates however vanished, abandoning Nebanda's car, car-keys and telephone at the clinic. Police is investigating circumstances under which she died.

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